GG is back, baby.
Check your phones, Upper East Siders, because Gossip Girl is back to expose the scandalous lives of a new batch of Manhattan's prep school elites. Over a decade after the mysterious blogger began chronicling the dramatic ups and downs of Serena Van Der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, and Chuck Bass, a new iteration of Gossip Girl is resurrecting the persona in HBO Max's upcoming sequel series. To get you pumped for all the hot gossip coming your way, here's everything we know about HBO Max's Gossip Girl reboot so far:
Based on Cecily von Ziegesar's dishy YA novel series, The CW's Gossip Girl became an instant phenomenon when it premiered in 2007. After the show received pearl-clutching reviews from scandalized critics over its sex-driven storylines, Gossip Girl actually used those negative remarks to its advantage by plastering quotes about how inappropriate and nasty the series was on posters of characters hooking up. The marketing strategy was a huge success and it ushered in an era of frothy, sexy teen dramas for The CW, which continues to this day with hits like Riverdale.
After the original series made such a huge mark, the new iteration of Gossip Girl has some big shoes to fill — designer heels, obvi.
Gossip Girl’s Official Trailer
This first promo for the upcoming series dropped on May 28. Though slim on plot details, the reboot teaser promises all of the drama, fashion, and scandal of the original Gossip Girl. Fans get a peek of most of the confirmed cast in character and, of course, the iconic and infamous Kristen Bell, who returns as the voice of Gossip Girl. Bell, leading the voiceover in the official teaser, offers a cryptic warning fans of the original series will enjoy: “You’ve gotten so comfortable,” Gossip Girl says, “Thinking you’re in control... of your image, your actions, the narrative. But you forgot one thing: I can see you. And before I’m through, I’ll make sure you see you, too.”
But the real joy came on June 10, when HBO Max released the full trailer for the reboot. After months and months and months of secrecy surrounding the characters and plot details, the trailer finally reveals tidbits of the story to come.
Gossip Girl's Release Date
The new Gossip Girl series was originally slated to premiere in 2020, likely alongside HBO Max's May 27 launch or closely afterward, but filming had to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Production finally began at the end of November, and the teaser dropped on May 28, 2021, confirmed the series will make its HBO Max debut on July 8.
Gossip Girl's Cast
The reboot will feature an entirely new cast of Upper East Siders. The show's official Instagram account gave a first look at the nine central characters and a one-word description for each in a slew of posts on Jan. 2.
Emily Alyn Lind's character Audrey Hope is given the word "Grace," Eli Brown's Otto "Obie" Bergman IV is given "Privilege," Thomas Doherty's Maximus Wolfe values "Freedom," Zión Moreno's Luna La will deliver the "Style," Savannah Smith's Monet de Haan has the "Power," Jordan Alexander's Julien Calloway wields "Influence," Evan Mock's Akeno "Aki" Menzies exudes "Innocence," Tavi Gevinson's Kate Keller has "Ambition," and Whitney Peak's Zoya Lott is described as having "Perspective."
So far, these one-word descriptors are all that's known about the new characters, but they already help to paint a picture of what to expect from the reboot.
Although the cast is filled with new faces, there is one who has a pretty unique connection to the original series. On Friday, March 19, Deadline announced Elizabeth Lail had joined the Gossip Girl reboot in an undisclosed role. Lail is best known for playing Beck, the romantic interest of Penn Badgley's stalker Joe in the hit thriller You. Since Badgley played the very Joe-like Dan Humphrey in the original Gossip Girl, this casting makes for a pretty interesting connection.
Gossip Girl’s Characters
On June 4 and 5, the official Gossip Girl Instagram account posted some character videos that hint at what to expect for the reboot. The first one features the character Julian Calloway posing for selfies with a ring light attached to the phone. “All smiles for the gram. But what about when she cuts the cam?” reads the caption, while the video remarks, “Spotted: J finding her light.”
The next video is “Spotted: O gracing us with his presence” and focused on Otto's character. In the video, he reads his phone and then looks off into the distance. The post’s caption reads, “Reclusive royalty on the scene? To what do we owe this pleasure?” obviously playing off his character’s aloof nature, as well as his superiority.
The third vid in the series features the character Maximus Wolfe. It begins with him eating a cherry, with the words, “Spotted: a Wolfe on the hunt” across the vid, before it flashes to a shot of a phone and him glancing at someone. The caption increases the mysterious vibe, reading, “Look out, M. Some fruits are forbidden for a reason.”
Gossip Girl's Plot
The new series is expected to follow the basic premise of the original Gossip Girl, centering on a group of upper-class Manhattan teenagers whose relationships and scandals are mysteriously revealed by an anonymous blogger. Beyond that, though, the cast teased the reboot will be "completely different" from The CW show in terms of its characters and topics.
In a February 2021 cast interview with Dazed Magazine, Alexander said the new series is "staying true to the essence of Gossip Girl but with a completely different take on it." Lind expanded on that by noting how the reboot will explore many more sexualities than the straight-laced original: "I think that what we can say is this — we’re making a series in 2020 and 2021. It’s really important for us to not just talk about these things but also express them as normal things that kids deal with. It shouldn’t be this new, exciting thing to talk about, it just exists. It’s about normalizing things that used to be different or taboo."
Fans can expect the new Gossip Girl to make its return on July 8. Until then, the entire original Gossip Girl series is streaming on HBO Max now, and it's the perfect time for a rewatch to prepare for the upcoming reboot.
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